1793 Wreath Cent, S-6, B-7, SP66 Brown
1793 1C Wreath Cent, Vine and Bars SP66 Brown NGC. S-6, B-7,
R.3. Known as the "Sprung Die" variety, the S-6 ranks among the
most frequently encountered and easily recognized Wreath cents. In
addition to the die bulge in the left obverse field that is present
to some extent on all known examples of the S-6, this piece is
lightly cracked from the bulge through the lower lip and on to the
right border. Another crack appears in the upper right field,
beginning at the sixth bead right of the Y, and other cracks are
faintly visible in the lower hair curls. Equivalent to Die State V
in the Breen Large Cent Encyclopedia, this is one of the
last-minted examples of S-6.
Vine and Bars Edge
The Levick Plate Coin
Breen used some numismatic hocus-pocus to claim that the S-6 large cents were all part of the April 9, 1793, delivery of 12,000 Wreath cents. Certainly the S-6 was one of the earlier Wreath cent varieties minted, although it is impossible to determine an exact date of manufacture. This piece is clearly a later state than the Die State II attributed in the S-6 census in the Breen reference. Nearly all of the census die states were determined through examination of photos, and in many cases those photographs were indistinct so that an exact die state determination was impossible.
Del Bland, whose condition census appears in the Breen Large Cent Encyclopedia, grades this coin MS61 and tied for second-finest known, alongside the Richard Winsor-ANS coin. The surfaces of the present specimen are exceptionally attractive with reflective fields. It is likely finer than the Winsor-ANS coin by a small margin. Only one clearly finer example of S-6 survives, and that piece also has a continuous provenance since the late 1800s.
The condition of this coin is truly extraordinary. It was Breen's contention in his 1977 reference on proofs that this particular coin was struck on a burnished blank for presentation purposes. The surfaces do indeed display a brightness and vibrancy that is absent on other Wreath cents we have encountered. Again, according to Breen, the Harold Bareford coin (this piece) is the one S-6 that most clearly qualifies as a presentation piece. The fields are bright and glow with semireflectivity. The design motifs also show an unparalleled degree of definition in all areas. Although there is no direct evidence of heavy metal flow in the fields, indirect evidence can be seen from the strongly bifurcated lettering around the peripheries, leading one to suspect that this coin may have been double struck. As for surface flaws, none are immediately apparent. Examination with a glass does, however, reveal a speck of darker color to the left of the leftmost leaf above the date (a useful pedigree identifier), and a short angling mark on the cheek of Liberty. The color designation by NGC is Brown, and that is technically correct. However, in addition to the overall brown patina there is an overlay of olive with a strong presence of original red also.
This is the most perfectly preserved and singularly important early large cent we have ever had the privilege of offering at public auction. It will not be a bargain for its new owner, but then every time this coin has changed hands over the past 139 years, it has cost its new owner dearly. A true "museum quality" coin. Our EAC grade MS62.
Ex: George F. Seavey; William H. Strobridge (1873), lot 208; Lorin G. Parmelee (2/6/1892); Dr. Thomas Hall (9/7/1909); Virgil M. Brand (1934); Horace Brand; New Netherlands Coin Co. (privately, 7/30/1951); Harold Bareford (9/13/1985); Herman Halpern (Stack's, 3/1988), lot 6; Ed Milas (RARCOA); Martin Paul (The Rarities Group); Superior (8/1992), lot 10; later, Heritage (6/2004), lot 6009.
The coin used by J.N.T. Levick who used it as a plate coin in an 1868 photo that was published in an 1869 issue of the American Journal of Numismatics for his plate of 1793 large cents. Also used as a plate coin in Sylvester S. Crosby's United States Coinage of 1793, published in 1897.
From The Greensboro Collection, Part I.(Registry values: N10218) (NGC ID# 223H, PCGS# 1347)
View all of [The Greensboro Collection, Part I ]
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